Sea.Hear.Now Festival Rocks The Jersey Shore

The fourth installment of the Sea.Hear.Now Festival brought more than 30,000 fans of all ages to the picturesque waterfront in Asbury Park, New Jersey this past weekend, September 17 and 18. Produced by Tim Sweetwood of C3 Presents (Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza), along with iconic rock photographer Danny Clinch, his good pal Tim Donnnelly (a music journalist turned promoter) and HM Wollman (an industry veteran), the festival is a celebration of live music, art and surf culture.

Excited fans during Wet Leg’s set at the Park Stage | Photo by Michael Dinger

A Transparent Clinch pop-up gallery in Bradley Park featured pieces of art contributed by several of the artists performing over the weekend, as well as photographs snapped by local native and rock legend Bruce Springsteen. The weekend also included a professional team surf contest known as the “North Beach Rumble,” and despite the relatively calm ocean waters, still went on as planned. A portion of the proceeds is also donated to grassroots, non-profit environmental organizations and community charities such as the Surfrider Foundation, Operation Beachhead, Clean Ocean Action, Garden State Equality and Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County, to name only a few.

Beach crowd watching Boy George & Culture Club’s set at the Surf Stage | Photo by Michael Dinger

When the gates to the festival grounds in the seaside town known for its sandy shore and beachfront boardwalk lined with shops, arcades and cafes opened promptly each day at noon, patrons were treated to a lineup that included more than 25 artists performing across three stages, aptly named Park, Sand and Surf. The Surf (main) Stage hosted headliner Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac fame on Saturday and Green Day, the rock trio of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool, on Sunday. Festivalgoers with VIP and Platinum wristbands had premium access to designated corrals on the side of each stage, including an exclusive viewing area with elevated sightlines of the Surf Stage.

Lollipop jellyfish blowing in the ocean breeze | Photo by Michael Dinger

The spectrum of music genres performed over the weekend was wide-ranging, more than ample to satisfy the taste palette of all patrons in attendance. There was punk (the aforementioned Green Day and IDLES), bluegrass (Billy Strings), pop (Boy George & Culture Club, Peach Pit and Aly & AJ), folk (The Head and the Heart), reggae (Skip Marley), blues (Gary Clark Jr.), rap (Michael Franti & Spearhead), Indie (Annie DiRusso, The Backseat Lovers, Wet Leg and Courtney Barnett), and of course, rock (My Morning Jacket and Cage the Elephant). And if the more than ten hours of music on the beach or in the park was not enough, there were ticketed “Late Night” shows at two of Asbury Park’s most venerable bar venues, The Stone Pony and Wonder Bar, which of course all sold out.

Tim Donnnelly & Danny Clinch | Photo by Michael Dinger
Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel | Photo by Michael Dinger

Band Highlights – Saturday

Dogs in a Pile

Aly & AJ

Annie DiRusso

The Surfrajettes

Skip Marley

Peach Pit

Boy George & Culture Club

The Backseat Lovers

Gary Clark Jr.

My Morning Jacket

Band Highlights – Sunday

Wet Leg

Michael Franti & Spearhead


Cage the Elephant

Courtney Barnett

The Head and the Heart

The Grounds, The Fans & Everything Else

Band Gallery Sea.Hear.Now 2022

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